A long-held misconception that departing Wigan head coach Shaun Wane disliked arch-rivals Saints intensely was finally nailed in the after-math of Friday’s Super 8s derby showdown at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Basking in the glory of the Warriors impressive 30-10 against their neighbours, Wane, who during his career faced Saints on countless occasion as both a coach and player and is taking up a post with the Scottish RU at the end of the season, insisted: “There was a bit of emotion out there as far as I was concerned. I’ve loved coming here where I’ve had some hidings and some good wins.
“It’s a myth to say I hate them because I have a great deal of respect for people here. They threw down the gauntlet, saying they wanted to clinch the League Leaders’ Shield tonight and win all three games against us this year but we had other ideas and produced a game plan which worked.”
Fellow boss Justin Holbrook admitted: “We definitely weren’t good enough tonight. We had some chances and I thought it wasn’t so much doom and gloom in the first half. We then created some second-half openings but without being good enough to execute them.
“Full credit to Wigan, they were better than us in every area of the game.”
He went on: “Someone said you can’t have it your own way all of the time and they are right. We had beaten Wigan twice already this year and wanted to win the third but I think we underestimated how much they also wanted to beat us. They played like that, were better in every area and deserved to win convincingly in the end.
“We were also all over the shop at times and completely outplayed when they moved the ball around at speed. They looked threatening and we were disjointed for most parts of the game and will have to learn from the experience and move on.
“We’re still in a good spot but we have to make sure we play better than we did tonight. If we don’t, we won’t beat anybody.”